The US Air Force (USAF) has released a draft request for proposal (RFP) for the light attack aircraft programme.
It comes after the conclusion of the second phase of the light attack experiment, which involved participation from Sierra Nevada / Embraer and Textron Aviation.
The final RFP is anticipated to be released in December after officials have finalised certain items.
The USAF intends to begin negotiations with industry stakeholders in order to adjust the RFP to meet the timelines.
US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said: “We must develop the capacity to combat violent extremism at lower cost.
“Today’s airforce is smaller than the nation needs, and the light attack aircraft offers an option to increase the airforce capacity beyond what we now have in our inventory or budget.”
“Both Congress and our industry partners understood the need to find ways to get capabilities to our warfighters faster.”
This summer, pilots participated in a live-fly experiment of the Sierra Nevada / Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano and Textron Aviation’s AT-6B Wolverine.
During the experiment, pilots collected additional information about aircraft capabilities, as well as interoperability with partner nations.
Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein underscored the importance of interoperability of the aircraft with allies.
Goldfein said: “An interoperable light attack aircraft that delivers common architecture and intelligence-sharing network capabilities will enhance our collective ability to compete, deter and win across all domains.”